Hello! I have been recently admitted to CCAS at GWU and have a few questions. I would really appreciate it if any current students or recent grads could answer them!
First, I have seen many reviews commenting on the lack of communication between students and administration and the difficulty in receiving guidance from faculty. A lot of people have mentioned that the career counseling(?) service for internships and job opportunities at GWU isn’t that accessible or useful. Yet, that’s one of the main reasons I am gravitating towards a private university rather than a public. Any comments or first-hand experience?
Second, I have also seen many people comment on the grade deflation at GWU. I do aspire to attend grad school in the far future and am prepared to study hard at college (while having fun)! Have you guys ever had a problem with the grading?
Third, how would you guys honestly rate the experience with your professors? I know GWU is home to many world-renowned professors but it also seems students have a hit-or-miss experience with professors. Any comments? Any recommendations of professors you think were absolutely awesome?
Fourth, is it common to transfer within the school? I’m considering transferring to the Elliot School during freshman year second semester. I want to study international relations and economics.
Thanks for taking the time to read this and I hope to get answers soon, as I need to decide where I want to commit!
Congrats on your admission!
Well, there is some truth in what you’ve heard. I had some difficulty with an academic adviser but the overall experience was still positive. And while some professors and administrators are quite busy and let is show with the diminished communication, the University acknowledged the problem and have hired some very outgoing and thoughtful administrators aiming to bridge the gap. For example, I follow a few different GW administrators on Twitter, and one in particular is almost super-human in how connected he stays to the students (@GWPeterK). I swear, the guy never sleeps. Now, with all that said, I am a firm believer in that GW helps you become a successful adult for after graduation. There are plenty of emails, posters around campus, etc, on internships and counseling services. A big part of it is on YOU, the student, in seeking out such opportunities and showing some initiative. In the real world your boss won’t babysit you or tell you about cool opportunities- you need to seek them out and pursue them!
I don’t believe there’s any grade deflation at GW, at least not in any of the classes I took (and I took a pretty broad spectrum). I think a lot of the professors will hold you to high standards but it’s never anything you can’t achieve with effort and/or guidance from them. I think there were only two classes that I thought I deserved a slightly higher grade than I received, but we’re talking a few percentage points (difference between B- and B or B+ and A-).
This is a tough one as I had a pretty wide range in experiences (and ask plenty other people as I’m sure their views will be different). I had some professors that were brilliant, thoughtful, inspiring, and really cared whether or not the students learned. But then I had a few that were incredibly brilliant in their field but couldn’t really connect with the students. Thankfully, the latter wasn’t the norm. It just depends… I recommend you really talk to other professors and check out RateMyProfessor. Take the negative reviews with a grain of salt, however, as some people just like to complain. BUT, if you find a large number of positive reviews it’s probably a really great professor. I can recommend some great ones, but unless you’re going to be in a similar program you may never get a chance to have them:
Prof. Feldman (Dep of Physics)
Prof. Hanbicki (Dep. of Physics)
Prof. Wallace (Dep. of Religion)
Prof. Herbel (Dep. of Health Sciences)
Prof. Sides (Dep. of Political Science)
Prof. Barton (Dep. of International Affairs)
Yes, it’s common to transfer. Or, at least it’s common to want to transfer, as I hear a lot of different students talk about it. Universities know that students frequently change degree paths during their four+ years. It’s just a matter of timing and applying.
Hope this helps!
@NHuffer I couldn’t thank you enough for your response! Thanks for helping so many students out!!! You’re the best!